Drag races are always interesting. Or are they? Surely no one is dying to see which of these two small hatches, whose combined output is less than 260 PS, is faster. But Top Gear decided to find out anyway.
We’ll move on to the video in a bit, but before that, let’s see what the deal is with both. The Up! GTI is the smallest and less powerful of the two. It uses a 1.0-liter three-banger, rated at 115 PS (113 hp / 85 kW) and 200 Nm (148 lb-ft) of torque, and goes from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.8 seconds.
It’s hard to think of the Up! GTI as a hot hatch, as it’s rather a less costly and smaller alternative to the Polo GTI.
Then again, the Swift Sport isn’t a hot hatch either, but a 'warm’ one, with a 1.4-liter turbo-four, which provides 140 PS (138 hp / 103 kW) and 230 Nm (170 lb-ft) of torque. From rest to 100 km/h (0-62 mph), the Japanese supermini is 0.7 seconds faster than its German rival. It also has a higher top speed – 209 km/h (130 mph) compared to 196 km/h (122 mph).
So, on paper, the Swift definitely has the upper hand. Don’t jump into conclusions just yet, though; we also have to account for the fact that, at 997 kg (2,198 pounds,) the Up! is lighter than the Swift Sport, which tips the scales at 1,045 kg (2,303 pounds) – plus, driver skill on making a good start is part of the equation.
Can VW’s smallest GTI turn the tables on the more powerful Swift Sport? Only one way to find out.